It got so hot in NYC this weekend it made cockroaches fly. Sounds horrifying, doesn’t it? You don’t know the half of it.
Several years back when I was still living in Virginia, a buddy of mine asked for help moving. When he asked, I smirked at him, and in my most condescending tone said, “Sure thing pal, I’ll help ya move…when roaches fly!” I then laughed in his face then did the jerkoff motion silently until he said, “Okay, I get the point” and walked away.
Cut to a few years later. New York, August 2016. It’s a heat wave. It’s so hot, everyone’s looking at the crazy guys who expose themselves to others thinking, “Actually that’s a good idea.” I didn’t check the numbers, but based on my amateur calculations the heat index got up to 219 degrees Fahrenheit. It was so hot you could fry an egg on the street, if you like your eggs prepared on disgusting surfaces.
Trying not to melt, I sat at home in the comfort of my A/C. As I go back and forth between my Social Media Bermuda Triangle of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I see a story trending: due to NYC’s high temperatures this weekend, cockroaches may start taking flight.”
Almost as soon as I read the story, I got a text from said friend.
“Get your ass to VA. Ur helping me move.”
Over the last several years I’ve prided myself on avoiding helping my friends move as much as possible by presenting them with unattainable, sarcastic conditions for my help. But now he had me, dead to rights, and there was nothing I could do about it. So many questions came to mind:
Why had I picked roaches? Even though roaches usually don’t fly, they’re perfectly able to. Why not pick animal that doesn’t have wings?
Also didn’t he just sign a three year lease in May? Who moves somewhere in the middle of the month?
After talking with him some more, it turns out he wasn’t even moving. He was going to have me move all his belongings into storage, spend the night there, then move them back into his place. His reasoning? “I’ve got a friend legally obligated to help me move. I’m not passing that up.”
So as I prepared to purchase a train ticket, I cursed both him and the cockroach as a species. Why in the hell are cockroaches, an animal generally regarded as being dirty and lazy, for some reason MORE active during times of high humidity? You pick NOW to make something of yourselves and start flying? I’m part of the smartest species on Planet Earth and I can’t move during a heat wave. If it goes past 82 I’m glued to the couch watching Netflix, meanwhile the roach version of Tony Robbins is rising up doing things it never even thought was possible before.
I spent years being disgusted by roaches WITHOUT initiative. What can they accomplish if they put their minds to it? They won’t die from a nuclear fallout, they can fly…if roaches figure out how to make the entire plane out of the black box I feel like they’re the next species on deck to rule once the next big meteor hits.
The scariest part about this is it’s made me revisit some other sarcastic qualifiers I’ve set over the past several years. I said them all super condescendingly, while doing the jerkoff motion. Now, to quote the great Joe Theismann, I’m not so sure these won’t happen. Consider these bargains I made:
“Sure, I’ll loan you $1,000….when LeBron leads the Cavs to a second title!”
“Sure, I’ll let you squat in my apartment’s living room…when a movie starring Will Smith as a D-list Batman villain has a sequel greenlit!”
“Sure, I’ll give you a kidney…when Donald Trump becomes President!”
Actually I think I’m good on the last one, both because I don’t think Trump’s going to win and also because my friend who needed the kidney died months ago. But still, my point remains: if a friend asks you for help moving, don’t set any sarcastic conditions. Just say no.
While we’re on the subject of cockroaches, sign up for my email list. Not one filthy insect is on it, so you’ll be in good company.